North Jersey News Roundup for April 19, 2021

OPINION: North Jersey Dems Must Deliver In Securing Elimination of SALT Cap. This is the moment in time for Democrats, such as Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Bill Pascrell, Mikie Sherrill and Tom Malinowski, who have campaigned on eliminating the State and Local Tax cap since 2017 to give relief for taxpayers in New Jersey they have promised. They have the power and the numbers to make sure the American Jobs Plans delivers real tax relief to residents of the Garden State. It is an opportunity they can not squander.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said GOP lawmakers could support an infrastructure bill of around $800 billion in bipartisan legislation to fix the nation’s roads and patchy broadband service. Senate Republicans are seeking a compromise on infrastructure after raising concerns with President Joe Biden’s package being too costly and having too many what they see as non-infrastructure elements ahead of a meeting with the President on the matter April 19. The Wall Street Journal

All adults Americans are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, meeting the April 19 deadline that President Biden set two weeks ago. The United States is administering an average of 3.2 million doses a day, up from roughly 2.5 million a month before. More than 131 million people, or half of all American adults, had received at least one shot as of April 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and about 84.3 million people have been fully vaccinated. The New York Times

The suspension of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could end this week, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser. Fauci believes federal regulators could bring the shots back with restrictions based on age, gender or with a blanket warning, so that it is administered in a way “a little bit different than we were before the pause.” The pause went into effect April 12 after clots were found in six women, including one fatality, between the ages of 18 and 48.

Even before the pause of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., just over 1 in 5 American adults remain unwilling to get the needed dose to stop the spread of the coronavirus. According to a national Monmouth University Poll released April 14 , the increase in vaccinations over the past month has not changed the mind of a number of Americans who remain opposed to getting the shot. Currently, 21% of Americans claim they will never get the vaccine if they can avoid it, which is down three points from prior polls in January and March. Pollsters found the number who say they want to let other people get it first to see how it goes before getting it themselves has dropped to 12% from 21% in March.

Rep. Bill Pascrell is calling for Congress to return post offices in providing some banking services, such as cashing checks, no-fee ATMs and low-cost checking accounts and loans. Pascrell proposed a $6 million pilot program as part of the new spending bill for the Postal Service. If the program proves successful, it could be expanded nationwide and bring in much-needed revenue for the financially troubled service, up to $9 billion in revenue each year according to the USPS Inspector. Post offices used to provide financial services, but that practice stopped in the 1960s.

A sweeping series of reforms and legislation aimed at tightening New Jersey’s gun control laws was unveiled by Gov. Phil Murphy. The measures, which are a mix of executive actions and legislation, include setting aside $10 million in the state budget to fund gun violence intervention programs; requiring gun permit applicants to first pass a safety course; increasing the firearm purchase age from 21 to 18; and directing the state Department of Education to overhaul active shooter drills to minimize stress on students.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation into roughly $20,000 that went missing from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced earlier this month that it had opened an investigation into an unidentified amount of money that disappeared from “temporary storage in locked safes.” The Jersey Journal

New Jersey Association of Counties estimates it will cost $77 million to implement New Jersey’s early voting law, four times the amount set aside in this year’s budget to finance the landmark law. According to the association, it is estimated $43 million is needed for electronic “poll books” and another $31 million to replace old voting technology and millions more for ballot-printing apparatus needed to accompany early voting. NJ Spotlight News

Gov. Phil Murphy will reportedly conditionally veto legislation that eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for official misconduct offenses involving public officials. Though the governor supported a previous bill eliminating mandatory minimums for a set of non-violent drug and property crimes drafted in line with recommendations from the New Jersey Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission, Murphy balked after State Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-32) amended the bill to remove minimum sentences for official misconduct. New Jersey Globe

A trio of North Jersey female lawmakers called on Gov. Phil Murphy to hold Department of Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks accountable for atrocities committed at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women . State Sens. Kristin Corrado and Holly Schepisi along with Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce are insistanting the removal of Commissioner Hicks after the state recently paid nearly $21 million to settle 22 cases filed against the New Jersey Department of Corrections regarding sexual abuse and harassment.

State homeland security officials released a new study concluding that New Jersey still faces multiple terrorism threats and risks over the next three years. Among the threats identified include anarchist extremists who will likely remain loosely organized and attempt to partner with larger groups in surrounding states to engage in criminal or violent activity challenging any cause they perceive as unjust and militia extremists will likely focus on targeting government officials and law enforcement with threats of violence surrounding issues of perceived government overreach. 

State judges ruled against Montclair State University’s plans to turn a single-lane road into a two-way campus entrance. The appellate court denied the university’s request for relief from an earlier judgment from state Superior Court Judge who sided with Clifton when he ruled the safety of the community was paramount in a legal battle that started in 2004. The Record

Jersey City broke ground April 17 on a $6 million plan to upgrade Reservoir 3 project in the Heights sections of the city. Key parts of the $6 million investment include widening the existing trail, introducing new lighting and fortifying the perimeter wall. The Jersey Journal

Paterson recently held a ceremony to break ground on the $94 million project that will restore and enhance Hinchliffe Stadium, one of just two remaining stadium structures that hosted Negro League baseball games. In addition to restoring the 7,800-seat athletic facility, the project also includes a 12,000-sq. ft. restaurant and event space that will pay homage to the professional and high school athletic exploits at Hinchliffe Stadium, a six-story affordable senior housing building featuring 75 studio, one- and two-bedroom units; a 5,200-square-foot preschool;and a 314-space structured parking garage.

And finally….A Fair Lawn High School student was accepted into five Ivy League schools. The Record

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.